Helping Your Child: What You Should Ask The Doctor

It can be frustrating to have unanswered questions about a medical issue or health problem, especially when it comes to your child. At Riley at IU Health, your child’s safety is our top concern. We want to be your partner in providing the best possible care.

As a member of your child’s healthcare team, you can help ensure a successful outcome when it comes to diagnosis and treatment plans by trying the following tips:

  1. Take notes on your child’s symptoms, including:
    • What is happening?
    • How long this has been happening?
    • When is it happening? Does it happen after eating, sleeping or doing a certain activity?
  2. Make a list of medications your child is currently taking.
  3. Bring a copy of your child’s medical history, including vaccinations or previous illnesses.
  4. During your child’s medical appointment, ask the doctor as many questions as needed. Examples include:
    • What are some of the treatment options you would suggest?
    • What are the benefits versus risks of each treatment option?
    • Who do you recommend I see next? Where would you send your family?
    • If a test is recommended, do I really need this test? How safe and accurate are the tests?
    • If my child gets sick will you come visit them in the hospital?
    • If the symptoms worsen, what should I do on my own? When should I contact you?
    • How will my child be affected by this treatment and/or medication?
  5. If your child’s doctor recommends surgery, get written information so you know and understand exactly what will be done during surgery. Be sure to speak up if you have concerns. Know what to do for surgery preparation and know what to expect right after surgery.
  6. Ask the surgeon questions, including:
    • How many surgeries do you do each year?
    • Will you do the follow-up in the hospital or will you send someone else?
    • How quickly do you plan on doing a follow-up visit in the hospital post-surgery?
    • Can I schedule the surgery for the morning?
    • What will my child's recovery time be?

Remember, you are an important member of your child’s healthcare team. Take a proactive approach to the wellness of your child by being prepared and asking questions.

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